Archbishop Desmond Tutu: China must use its influence in Sudan over the crisis in Darfur
Archbishop Desmond Tutu warned China could face an international boycott of the Beijing Olympics if they did not move to end the atrocities in Darfur.
A day after director Steven Spielberg stepped down as an artistic adviser to the games, the South African cleric condemned the Chinese government for failing to utilise their influence on the Sudanese leaders.
In an interview with ITV News, Archbishop Tutu said: “We don’t obviously want to do that (boycott the games) - you don’t want to do that kind of thing unless it is absolutely necessary.
“The ball is very much in the court of the Chinese government.
“They have to decide whether they want the Games to go on and be unaffected.”
The South African cleric said China had shown it could take “the right kind of action” through its support of a United Nations security resolution which authorised the deployment of a joint UN-African Union force in an attempt to quell violence in the region.
The South African cleric said China had shown it could take "the right kind of action" through its support of a United Nations security resolution which authorised the deployment of a joint UN-African Union force in an attempt to quell violence in the region.
But he added: "We believe that they could use a great deal more of their leverage to help to change the situation drastically.
"What we want (China) to do now is to persuade, influence the Sudanese government to stop its obstructionist tactics which are slowing up the deployment of that force.
"And it's quite crucial - people are dying - and we want to see the situation changing. And it can change.
"China has a great deal of muscle as the Sudan's most important trading partner.
"China wants the oil and the Sudan wants especially Chinese arms."